Sun, April 01, 2012
China > China & World > President Hu Jintao on Asian Trip

Hu reaches out to Cambodia

2012-04-01 03:28:19 GMT2012-04-01 11:28:19(Beijing Time)  China Daily

President Hu Jintao meets Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday in Phnom Penh. Wang Ye / Xinhua

China and Cambodia on Saturday pledged to advance their already close ties, vowing to double their trade by 2017.

The two countries also signed a couple of cooperation documents in trade and infrastructure sectors as Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to the country.

It's the first time since 2000 that a Chinese head of the state has visited the country, which has enjoyed a "generation of friendship" hailed by both nations on Saturday.

Meeting with Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni, Hu said China cherishes the traditional ties between China and Cambodia and will advance strategic cooperation between the two countries to benefit the two peoples.

The king extended a warm welcome to Hu on behalf of his parents, King-Father Norodom Sihanouk and Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. The king said Hu's visit is historically significant for Cambodia, which "always holds China as its closest friend".

China and Cambodia established a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in 2010. Since then, bilateral trade has developed rapidly, rising from $1.4 billion in 2010 to $2.5 billion in 2011. The Chinese president and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen pledged to double the trade volume in 2017.

Hu's visit also comes just days ahead of a regional summit, as Cambodia holds the presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2012 and plays an important role in East Asian cooperation and China-ASEAN relations.

During talks with Hun Sen on Saturday, Hu said that Asian countries have the capacity and responsibility to preserve regional peace and stability.

East Asian cooperation is at a critical state, and countries including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea should preserve critical channels, including ASEAN, and preserve the leading role of ASEAN, Hu said.

China supports Cambodia's role as the ASEAN rotating chair country and playing an important role in the regional affairs, said Hu, and China is willing to strengthen coordination to develop sound East Asian cooperation.

Hu made the remarks as Asia continues to become an economic hotspot, with many nations outside the region eager to get more engaged in regional affairs and influence Asia's development.

Hun Sen agreed that ASEAN should play a leading role in East Asian cooperation, adding that the organization is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with China in the region.

Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Hu's visit would "deepen and strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries."

The remainder of Hu's schedule includes a visit to Siem Reap's Angkor Wat temple, a World Heritage site, and he will also visit the deteriorating Ta Keo temple in the complex of Angkor Archaeological Park, which is being renovated by Chinese and Cambodian archaeological experts with China's financial support.

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